Trendy tapas

Just add avo!

Tapas, appetisers, antipasti, meze, hors d’oeuvres…

Call them what you will, bite-sized snacks continue to gain popularity around the world, including right here in South Africa where they’re perfectly suited to our hot climate. Give these fabulous finger foods a mini makeover with the addition of the most versatile ingredient of all – avocados! Fortunately, there’s no shortage in SA with green- and dark-skinned avos available here almost all year round. Whether you’re plating up Spanish tapas, Greek-style meze, Italian-inspired antipasti, hors d’oeuvres with a French flair, or good old South African snacks, be sure to add an avo to the mix.

Serves 6–8 as a starter or tapas

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


• 45ml (3 tbsp) avocado or olive oil

• 500g large prawns, peeled and deveined, tails on

• 2.5ml (ó tsp) sea salt

• pinch of crushed red pepper

• 4 large cloves garlic, minced

• 80ml (1/3 cup) dry sherry

• 10ml (2 tsp) fresh lemon juice

• 15ml (1 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, diced

• 2ml (1/3 tsp) smoked paprika

• 15ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 2 avocados, stoned and roughly mashed

• salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• lemon wedges, to serve

1 Heat a cast-iron skillet or thick-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the prawns in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until golden (about 90 seconds). Sprinkle with salt, crushed red pepper and garlic. Turn the prawns and sauté until just cooked through (about another minute). Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

2 Add sherry to the pan to deglaze; stir to release the remaining bits on the bottom of the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced by half (about 1–2 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice and juices from the prawns. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and smoked paprika, and stir until the sauce is creamy. Spoon the sauce over the prawns; sprinkle with parsley.

3 Season the avocado to taste. Place a dollop of avocado in small tapas dishes, add the warm prawns and serve immediately with lemon wedges.


Green-skinned avos remain green when ripe, while dark-skinned avos turn purple-black when ready to eat. Even though avocados may vary in colour, shape and size, they are all equally delicious and nutritious.

For more info and avo recipes, visit, like @iloveavocadoSA on Facebook and follow @iloveavossa on Instagram.

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April 2023

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